GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, N.L. — Amy Coady’s interest in politics has roots in her dad’s line of work.
Jim Coady was an announcer for 30 years with the VOCM affiliate in Grand Falls-Windsor, where Amy was born and raised and still calls home today. At a young age, she got to work some weekend shifts and summer holiday fill-in gigs at the station.
“Just being involved in the news aspect and hearing about politics in basically every corner, it was something that I was just always interested in, and I figured why not start at the municipal level.”
First elected in 2009, Coady is now in her fourth term as a town councillor in Grand Falls-Windsor. A year ago, she became the president of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL), having previously served a couple of terms as a central director for the organization.
“When I was first elected to council, I was committed to basically really learning what it meant to be a councillor,” explained Coady, who works in the provincial public sector and has three children. “I was always active with MNL, even before I was attached to the board.”
Through that experience, she also learned a lot about the issues facing municipalities smaller than her own.
“I always had a really good feel for the different size of municipalities and some of the challenges that they face, where their strengths were. Becoming involved in the board of MNL, it was kind of just a natural progression.”
1 . What is your full name?
Amy Nicole Coady.
2 . Where were you born?
I was born in Grand Falls at the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre in 1975.
3 . Where do you live today?
I live in Grand Falls-Windsor.
4 . Who do you follow on social media?
I follow a lot of the news outlets. I follow a lot of municipal leaders, councillors, provincial leaders, MHAs and federal MPs. … I’ve recently gotten a feel for TikTok and I just love the humour, just how creative people are. It really makes me laugh. And I love the algorithm of TikTok — that the more you watch something and they know that you’re enjoying it, the more they feed it to you. So instead of just mindlessly scrolling through a bunch of stuff trying to find what you like now, it just feeds me everything they know I’m really going to have a laugh at.
5 . What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I like to crochet. I’m not great at it. I can do a single, double and triple crochet and a half attempt at a granny square, but I can’t follow a pattern and I can’t make a doily. But I can make a mean dishcloth.
6 . What’s been your favourite year and why?
The years that my children were born have been wonderful years and very exciting, very challenging years for sure. The last couple of years … it’s been tough when you go through a marriage breakdown. Obviously, that’s a very difficult time in your life and then happening through COVID just made it that much more difficult. But I kind of look at the last two years going through COVID and being restricted to your home and having social restrictions in place … it really gave me a time to focus on myself, to do some healing, to just reaffirm what’s important in my life … really do that important self-reflection. I’ve grown over the last couple of years, so I do have to say as challenging as COVID has been, the last couple of years have really been a blessing for me as well.
7 . What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Probably the last two years, the same. Any time there’s a breakdown in your family life, obviously that presents all kinds of challenges. But I’ve learned that you get to learn where your strengths are, you get to learn where you need to improve and how to make those improvements and you learn who you can depend on — who you can rely on — and you learn, really, what’s important in your life.
8 . Can you describe one experience that changed your life?
Children do completely change your life. But being involved in politics is also pretty life-changing when you’re looking at your community from the inside out. That really opens your eyes as to how municipalities operate, what goes on behind the scenes, how much work is involved to help your communities thrive, provide services to your residents. A lot of times people don’t understand exactly how much time is involved, how much effort, how reliant you are on having good staff to be able to do good work and provide services to your residents and how difficult it is to do everything that you need to do or want to do with the limited amount of resources that you have to do that.
9 . What is your greatest indulgence?
I do love junk food. As a matter of fact, for my lunch I’m actually having Cheetos Mac’N Cheese Cheesy Jalapeno. That is definitely an indulgence. Not something I would normally eat, but I have taken a liking to that lately. It’s a quick go to, a little fun thing that I wouldn’t normally eat. … I do love wine gums. Glass of wine and sour beer.
10 . What is your favourite movie or book?
“The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan I think is my ultimate favourite book ever. I’ve read that several times. I just love this story. I love the relationship between the mother and the daughters, their interactions with each other. The struggles and immigration that they faced. They did adapt it into a movie as well, and they did a very good job of doing that. … I also love “The Other Boleyn Girl” (by Philippa Gregory). “Lord of the Flies” (by William Golding) is another classic favourite. For movies, “Shawshank Redemption” is an all-time favourite. Watched that like 100 times. “Hope Floats,” I think I watch that every two months … love the message in that movie. “Rocky IV.” Who doesn’t love a good Rocky movie? … “Dirty Dancing” … and “The Breakfast Club.”
11 . What do you like to listen to?
I have a playlist on my phone of pretty much every genre. There’s rap, country, dance, pop, disco — everything from the Bee Gees to The Cult.
12 . How do you like to relax?
I guess my favourite thing to do is to walk at Gorge Park (in Grand Falls-Windsor). That’s probably my favourite place in the world. Not a long trail, but a nice trail. Has some challenges, but the scenery is beautiful. The sound of the birds, just being in nature listening to the water, see people enjoying the river.
13 . What are you reading or watching right now?
I am about to start “The Glass Hotel” by Emily St. John Mandel. I am involved in a book club with our local public library, the Harmsworth Public Library. … And as for what I’m watching, basically, I’m just trying to catch up on my PVR shows. … I love watching “Outlander” on Netflix and I’m getting ready to watch the second season of “Bridgerton.”
14 . What is your greatest fear?
That I’ll fail my children.
15 . How would you describe your personal fashion sense?
If I’m at an event or something, obviously it’s business casual dressy. But as soon as I walk in the door, it’s the socks come off, the sweats go on or the pajamas and the hair goes up and unless I have to go somewhere, do something, that’s pretty much how it stays for the length of time that I’m home. On the weekends, normally it’s leggings and a sweatshirt and sneakers.
16 . What is your most treasured possession?
My most treasured possession is time. Every day that you have an attitude of gratitude. I like to be thankful and thank God for every morning that I wake up and, and at the end of the day thank God for a great day. Just basically be thankful for all my blessings.
17 . What physical or personality trait are you most grateful to a parent for?
I guess my love of politics from my dad and the ability to talk. He’s quite a talker, and Mom (Marjorie) says that I’m just like him. … Mom’s sense of humour. She’s a lot like my grandmother. … I try to encapsulate the patience that my mom has. I don’t have a whole lot of patience. But I try to think, what would Mom do in that situation, and I think that does give me some calm and reason.
18 . What would you say is your best quality, and what would you say is your worst quality?
I can have a short fuse, depending on the situation. Sometimes you just shake your head. Instead of taking a deep breath, you react. Best quality — I guess I try to see the good in people and situations, and try to look for the positive. While I do have a short fuse … on the flip side of it, I am recognizing that I do need to make an effort there and I do try to find the positive and the good in situations and in people.
19 . Where is your favourite place to be?
I would say either at my cabin or Gorge Park. My sisters and I — I have two younger sisters — basically we got out of school in June and we went to the cabin and we came home in September. We grew up at the cabin. … At the time, there were a lot of children in the area. So, we had tons of friends. We were outdoors from daylight to past dark, playing spotlight and things like that. Swimming in the river, picnics on the beach, walks on the road, just being with our parents and spending time with family. That’s definitely the best memories that I have of my favourite place.
20 . Which three people would join you for your dream dinner party?
Princess Diana. Jesus. The third one — probably to have another dinner with my grandmother, Nana Lockyer.